‘No Point Having Rules If You Don’t Enforce Them’

May 27, 2012

The Premier can pass all the legislation she wants, but until she and her Government “get serious about stopping financial misconduct it will continue,” Shadow Attorney General Trevor Moniz said.

On Friday [May 25] Premier Paula Cox tabled the second phase of the Good Governance legislation in the House of Assembly.

The Bill makes provision for Ministers to be appointed to hear an application or appeal on behalf of another Minister who has a conflict of interest and to extend whistle blower protection.

The bill also seeks to increase the period within which offences can be prosecuted, and to create an offence of collusion whereby parties seek to improperly exert influence in order to obtain a contract.

Mr Moniz said, “Just as it is right for parents to make sure their children live by the rules, citizens expect their government to do the same.

“On Friday, the Premier introduced good governance legislation in the House of Assembly saying the new rules would ensure ‘abuses will be a thing of the past.’

“While the legislation is part of the Premier’s pre-election effort to separate her government from past practices, the OBA supports any efforts that end the abuses that have done so much to harm Bermuda’s reputation and people’s confidence in their government.

“But there is an important point to make about the Premier’s pre-election make-over, and it was contained in Thursday’s warning by the Auditor General that public officials would continue abusing public funds until they are held to account,” continued Mr Moniz.

“Ms Matthews pointed to the case of Kyril Burrows and Delcina Bean-Burrows, who stole more than $500,000 from the public purse over a period of five years.

“She said the Works & Engineering manager should have been fired seven years ago when it emerged he’d used his Government credit card to spend more than $30,000 on personal items.

“The Auditor General noted that those who turned a blind eye to the couple’s continuing thefts still hold senior positions in Government.

“If the Premier is truly committed to separating herself from her own government’s record, then she needs to change her own ways.

“As Ms Matthews observed, the Premier already had the power as Finance Minister to bring charges against public officials responsible for improper use of public money.

“In short, there is no point to having rules if you do not enforce them,” said Mr Moniz.

“As OBA leader Craig Cannonier has said: ‘The reality is you can have all the rules you want, but if you’re not going to follow them there is no accountability and Bermuda is never going to have a government people can trust.’

“The Premier can pass all the legislation she wants. But until she and her Government get serious about stopping financial misconduct, it will continue.

“At the end of the day, good governance comes down to people – people obeying the rules and people enforcing the rules. It’s about leadership and ethics. That’s the glue that will ensure the public interest and the public purse is protected at all times,” concluded Mr Moniz.

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Comments (39)

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  1. Yes says:

    Exactly there must be an Election looming with all this 12th hour stuff been poured out ,but we have seen it all before ,in NYC it's called bait and switch!

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    • Yup says:

      The Premier is all talk and no action. She won't do a thing to stop all the "funny stuff" cuz she knows she'll get the boot. And then welcome Premier Burgess!...........what I'm saying is the Premier is still a COG.

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  2. no strategy says:

    This is complete BS. Trevor Moniz knows full well the Ministers cannot touch civil servants. The civil service is seperate from political interference and thus its the head of the civil service and the Governor's responsibility.

    The only bait and switch here is the attempt to say that the premier should fire/discipline civil servants which she does not have the ability to do.

    OBA stop lying to people.

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    • Mad Dawg says:

      You're talking nonsense and you completely ignore the point he makes (or maybe it's just to complex for you to follow). The government knowingly lets these things happen. Look at BLDC. Burgess spent all his time trying to defend it. Some have their hands in the till. They're in it for the money.

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      • Yup says:

        I hope they choke on all their ill gotten gain!!!

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        • LMAWTFO says:

          Same can be said for Moniz and his crew for their past dealings. But those in Gov now that are doing it as well, need to have their arses handed to them.

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          • star man says:

            "Same can be said for Moniz and his crew for their past dealings." That's a pretty broad statement there, dude. Could you please provide us with some examples of what you speak. You can't. So stop lying.

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            • LMAWTFO says:

              Come on man, are you serious??? Ok OK, same can be said about the PLP, where is your hard evidence??

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    • Concerned Citizen says:

      Agreed, the Oba are grasping at straws again. No grasp of the constitution at all, and let's not forget, Premier Cox has introduced more "good goverenance" rules then any other in Bermudas history, especially since the term did not exist prior to 1998, and by looking at the formation of the Oba, still does not exist nor apply to them! Smh!

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      • Reality strikes says:

        Prior to 1998 ? ?
        Prior to '98 we had balanced budgets and no debt , unlike the over 1.5B debt we have today. Was it a case of 'the rules worked' back then or was there even thievery and corruption going on back in those dark and opressive days under a UBP rule ?

        One thing we DO know , the PLP has had their hands on the books for 14 years now and they have yet to say 'Hey ,look what we found the UBP was doing' just to silence all of them 'OBA haterz' and anti PLP government types. And nothing would make them happier, IF they could just do it .

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      • star man says:

        “Premier Cox has introduced more “good goverenance” rules then any other in Bermudas history, especially since the term did not exist prior to 1998, and by looking at the formation of the Oba, still does not exist nor apply to them! Smh!”

        Rules are meaningless unless they are followed, and those who do not fall into line are prosecuted.  We know there has been much wrong doing by many in the PLP, so where are the prosecutions??! Certainly It is not “good governance” until we see a few of the criminals within the PLP Party arrested and prosecuted. There are plenty of them! Will the PLP appointed DPP make any recommendations for prosecutions? I seriously doubt it! Will the OBA come after the PLP once they are elected?! We'll have to wait and see....

        On your other attempt to smear the OBA by saying that “good governance” does not apply to them... what nonsense, as they haven’t been the Government yet. In the meantime, as the Official Opposition, I feel the One Bermuda Alliance are doing a Great job exposing the blatant criminality and collusion within the PLP Party.

        If voters cannot see the damage the PLP have done to our beloved Country, and realize that the PLP’s turn is up, then there is little hope for Bermuda surviving the future intact.

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      • Truth (original) says:

        She has also overseen the biggest reducation of the till in Bermuda's History .......hence the need for all of the good governance legislation.

        You as well have not addressed the question he poses- what is the point of having all of this legislation if it is not enforced?

        You have also not acknowledged that the power already existed in legislation to ensure that theft is stamped out, yet it prevails.

        Legislation is not the problem, it is the woeful lack will to enforce it.

        Take off the blinders.

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    • Truth (original) says:

      That is complete nonsense. If it is the case that the "civil service is separate from political interference" then play explain why so many civil servants have complained and complied with pressure from Ministers of Govt?

      It has been well reported that the Civil Service have been complaining for years about interference. How do you think all of these shady transactions have gotten through the civil service that is supposed to uphold the financial instructions?

      Ministers pressure civil servants, fact. And as you noted, the head of the civil service should have done something about members of his team breaking financial instructions. The Premier ahould have seen to it that Government Ministers should have been fired and prosecuted as well as members of the civil service but nothing is enforced here.

      Mr. Moniz is absolutely correct.

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      • Union Member says:

        @ Truth because the Civil Service Executive, (CSE) which is the body that should be the buffer is not strong as it should be. The Head of the Civil Service is one person, yes, with a significant responsibility, but the right tools (Permanent Secretarties) that make up the CSE is needed.

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    • R U for real? says:

      As the political head of a Ministry, a Minister is responsible for what happens in that Ministry and must bear the consequences for any defect of administration...whether personally responsible or not. Mr. Moniz is correct in what he is saying. Premier Cox has already stated that the buck stops with her!

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  3. Rick Olson says:

    The Minister can though be proactive to rectify the situation being a civil servant is NOT a license to steal.

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    • Since we on the topic of stealing from Government says:

      Talking about stealing from Government, I was at a bar the other night and saw someone who was hired to do one thing doing another. Hmmm wonder if the Department of Customs would know about what this workpermitt person's job was? Last I checked the Customs Minister (Govt) doesn't give out workpermitt for Bartenders. That's a close category for Bermudians only.

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      • Triangle Drifter says:

        And this has exactly WHAT to do with the topic????

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      • Mad Dawg says:

        Well if you can tell someone is doing something they shouldn't just by looking at them, why don't you phone the "Customs Minister" and let him know? Get his home number. Phone him at night. I'm sure he'd love to hear about this breach of "Customs" regulations.

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      • star man says:

        Why don't you be a "good Bermudian" and pink on them. Isn't that what you lot do for kicks?

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        • Truth (original) says:

          You've added a silly comment to another silly comment.

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          • Interesting hmmm says:

            The person on the first comment owns a bar. Wonder if the second comment is related to this Bie bar? Hmmm I may have to stop by today and see if the work permit holder is performing as a Bar Man! Now I wondering if Crime Stoppers pays good money for being a "Pink"

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      • Cranberry says:

        And you knew he was an expat how? Cos he just looked/sounded/acted/gave good service like one... I look and sound like one too - but I am 100% Bermudian...

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      • Sean says:

        "Last I checked......that's a close(d) category for Bermudians only"

        Check again. That policy was changed ages ago. There are plenty of foreign bartenders on the island these days.

        typical attack the messenger BS

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  4. OMG says:

    The current Government are all a bunch of ---- they are hiding this and hiding that and we (the tax payer) have to pay for this behind the scenes crap. Within the past 2 weeks we are now being made aware that we had signed on for a 10M project (PHC) - and who is going to pay for this???

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  5. Yes says:

    Ok you lot you can hold on to your chairs but the titanic is sinking fast !

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  6. Triangle Drifter says:

    Nothing changes till the bums are voted out. Nothing happens till the investigations are done & the guilty hear the doors at Westgate clang behind them, after they are stripped of their illgotten assets, of course..

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  7. Hmmmmmm says:

    Bottom Line, if you support the PLP, you must be being paid off. There is no way any sane person would support putting Bermudians and Bermuda in this hole, whilst ignoring any accountibility. Are you are fool or being paid?

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    • Yup says:

      They are afraid of being sent back to the plantation! Boy did that trash spewed by Dr. Evil take traction. And dreb will use hate and the plantation to scare his sheeple back to the voting booth to vote PLP. Then his mates will settle down to mash Bermuda again....and again.

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      • R U for real? says:

        They are afraid of being sent back to the plantation? Where do they they're heading? The Sally Bassett statue and that horrid looking 'thing' in front the The Bank of Bermuda says it all!

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        • R U for real? says:

          *Where do they think they're heading?

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  8. Cox must go says:

    "............@Yup

    we are on a more oppressive plantation under Premier Cox, check out her body language, facial expressions and then what she does to your career if you dont support her or her administration blindly............she kicks you off the "Reservation" as she calls it.

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  9. Argosy says:

    Spot on, Trevor!

    Look at the speed limit, tinted windows, larger cars, double parking, fog lights on, wild-cat strikes, horn tooting - could go on and on......

    Yep, rules are made to be broken AND we will reward your bad behaviour....

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  10. navin johnson says:

    Paula believes that all you have to do is say something and that is akin to actually doing something....another new leaf turned over and another dial reset and all of it meaningless....how is that PATI coming along Paula? any word on that? didn't think so.....see all you have to do is talk about it but never actually implement it unless it benefits Politicians which, as we all know, PATI will not be a benefit to a Politician.....certainly not to a PLP Politician.....

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  11. Rick Olson says:

    Since we are on the topic of steal inning from gov. --- if you are referring to my bar why dont you call me ? So I can set your dumb ass straight?

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    • Interesting says:

      Why don't they just call Immigration if they are stressing that you have waiter/waitress work permit holders working behind the bar as Bartenders. If that is true you are stealing from Government. What is the name of your bar Rick Olson I need a cool one for my Happy Hour on Friday?

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  12. Carla Rose Louise Wilkinson says:

    Language language..smh..

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  13. LMAWTFO says:

    Over a billion in debit, missing money here, missing money there, it all still pales in comparison to the UBPs stealing of Tuckers Town, Fairy Lands and all of Trimingham Hill. But now one wants to talk about that do they.

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  14. star man says:

    I get the message... it was nice knowing y'all. :-)

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